Premier League relegation will not affect Wales, says James Chester

James Chester (R) won one of his four Wales caps in the 0-0 draw against Belgium in November 2014
James Chester (R) won one of his four Wales caps in the 0-0 draw against Belgium in November 2014
Euro 2016 qualifier: Wales v Belgium
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Friday, 12 June Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and the BBC Sport website

Hull City defender James Chester does not believe the Tigers' relegation from the Premier League will affect his Wales career.

The 26-year-old is expected to start against Belgium in Friday's key Group B Euro 2016 qualifying encounter.

"While we have been relegated my ability as a player won't change," said Chester.

"I believe I'm still good enough to play in the Premier League and at international level."

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Joe Ledley hopes Gareth Bale comes out on top for Wales against Eden Hazard's Belgium in Friday's Group B Euro 2016 qualifier.

He added: "Whether my football is in the Championship, I'm pretty confident it won't affect my position [with Wales]."

Chester played in Hull City's draw at home with 10-man Manchester United, which saw them relegated on the final day of the 2014-15 Premier League season.

Wales are unbeaten in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign behind Group B leaders Belgium, who they face on Friday, on goal difference.

Chester says he is glad to have the match to focus on rather than dwell on relegation.

"It's a huge game... and a game that you start playing football for and one you hope to be involved in," he said.

"It's nice to have something to look forward to and work towards and not be sat at home dwelling on what has been."

If former Manchester United trainee Chester plays on Friday, one of the main threats he will tasked with thwarting will come from Chelsea's Eden Hazard.

Chelsea and Belgium star Eden Hazard (L) takes on James Chester (R) of Hull and Wales
Chelsea and Belgium star Eden Hazard (L) takes on James Chester (R) of Hull and Wales

Chester says he is confident of doing better against the Belgian than the first time he played against him in Hull's 2-0 home defeat against Chelsea in January 2014.

"Hazard probably gave me my most difficult 90 minutes in the Premier League," said Chester.

"But since then I've felt that when I've come up against him I've handled him better than I did the first time, but we know that we are going to have to be at the top of our game to keep him quiet because he's such a great talent."

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